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Agile Metrics: A GQM Approach

John Tanner
Reading: Agile Metrics: A GQM Approach

When undertaking an Agile transformation, there is a need to collect data to demonstrate progress and show improvement, but where does one even start? Common Agile metrics approaches do well at measuring team velocity and throughput but can sometimes overlook the requirements of executive sponsors, product management, and other key stakeholders. This problem is often rooted in a lack of understanding about what business goals are driving decision making throughout the organization and what questions we should be answering with the metrics we collect.

The “Goal-Question-Metric” (GQM) approach is a proven method for driving goal-oriented measures throughout a software organization. With GQM, we start by defining the goals we are trying to achieve, then clarifying the questions we are trying to answer with the data we collect. By mapping business outcomes and goals to data-driven metrics, we can form a holistic picture of the Agile environment and clearly articulate how we are doing across the span of the enterprise.

During this session, we will explore the GQM approach and show its effectiveness in identifying the key information your enterprise needs to know at the Executive, Portfolio, Program, and Delivery tiers. We will provide example metric sets for each tier and explain the goals and questions that drove us to them. At the end of this talk, the audience will understand, not only how to ask the right questions, but specifically what metrics can be used to answer them.

Next Student Q&A: Normalizing Story Points as Time w/ Derek Huether

John Tanner is an experienced IT consultant and change agent with over 19 years of industry experience. He has spent most of his career focused on building high-performing teams and creating better value delivery processes within organizations across Federal, commercial, and non-profit sectors. John has introduced Agile development practices at such notable organizations as the White House Communications Agency, the Federal Judiciary, and the State Department, as well as a collection of commercial and non-profit organizations. John is a passionate Lean, Agile, and DevOps expert focused on driving holistic enterprise transformations that can stand the test of time.

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